Analysis of Western Spirits in China Highlighted with Major Factors, Consumer Preferences, and Key Players in 2017


Published on : Sep 01, 2017

Albany, New York, September 1, 2017: A new research study by Market Research Hub, titled, “Western Spirits - China - July 2017” highlights the key trends impacting the consumption and uptake of Western spirits in Chinese market. The report also offers holistic and comprehensive information on consumer preferences and key players operating in the market. Offering an analysis on the landscape, the report suggest that drinking culture of China dates back centuries, however rapid economic development of the country has influenced several aspects of current alcohol consumption and production. Growing middle class population, with their disposable incomes, savor a wide variety of drinks, with the motivation to drink either arising from seeking pleasure or from status.

According to the report, the economic boom in China has spurred several foreign brand imports for both – purpose of status symbols, and as several foreign drinks possess lower alcohol content. Beer is the most preferred drink in China, with the population consuming nearly 50 billion liters annually. Most of the Chinese drinkers indulge in beer over spirits having higher alcohol content, such as baijiu. Beer has become a favorite at home for people, as it pairs well with several Chinese dishes. In fact, china is the largest consumer of beer worldwide.

The report further outlines how Western spirits are gaining traction in China. According to the report, the Western spirits have started experiencing recovery across China, mainly driven by demand for iconic and premium American brands. Following the sweeping anti-extravagance crackdown of the Chinese government in 2013, which resulted into shrinking demand for high-end liquor, premium brands have indicated the return of retail demand, with distributors witnessing renewed interest in the international whiskey labels. This demand is being fostered by tasting clubs, and whiskey bars, which have been focusing on imported spirits. In the interim, more number of Chinese restaurants have been stocking premium imports. Likewise, whiskey auctions are gaining higher prevalence, with rising frequency of spirits being gifted, particularly in case of malts and super-deluxe scotch.

China’s massive population, political and economic influences, and cultural differences compared to western economies make supply and distribution of alcohol a very challenging process for liquor companies. Most of the time, distributors are faced with language barriers, a newly adaptive market, and unfamiliar social influences. A major counterfeiting problem is also being faced by china, thereby leading towards lesser consumer confidence. Accidentally picking up low-quality wine being marketed as a costly vintage, is a fear shared among 44% of wine drinkers in China. The western spirits, wine, and beer market in China is witnessing a rapid expansion, with increasing awareness among the growing middle class population about non-traditional alcohol. It is paramount for suppliers and distributors, trying to tap into the market, in understanding the taste preference of their specific Chinese regional markets, discovering key players in the region, and properly localizing everything ranging from marketing of materials to packaging.

Several partnerships between leading liquor companies are also expected to drive popularity of western spirits in china. China’s largest e-commerce company in terms of revenue, JD.com, Inc., and Bacardi, world’s largest privately held producer of spirits, entered into a partnership last year. In this partnership, JD.com became the strategic e-commerce partner of Bacardi for its products in China. JD.com, being the most trusted platform of e-commerce in China, is the first ever choice for Chinese consumers while purchasing spirits. Thus, by leveraging the excellent user experience, and amazing fast delivery service of JD.com, western brands such as Bacardi can raise awareness among consumers about their portfolio of spirits.

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